Diminutive of Jane
"God's gracious gift"

Janet Origin and Meaning

The name Janet is a girl's name of English origin meaning "God's gracious gift".

Janet started as a pet form of Jane but has long been used independently. Jane is a feminine form of John, which derived from the Hebrew name Yochanan. Janet can also be considered a variation of Jeannette, a derivative of Joan and another feminization of the name John.

Five hundred years ago Janet was a royal favorite in Scotland, where it remains a common name. Here in the US, however, Janet has been on a downhill slide since the 1960s, with Grandma Janet now knitting booties for baby Janae. Or even, increasingly, Jane.

There have been several Janets recently involved in US government, Janet is a leading member of the Jackson family, and Janet Evanovich is a bestselling author; and in the past there have been first Best Actress Oscar winner Gaynor, Psycho actor Janet Leigh, and the mother of Jackie Kennedy.

There are several attractive foreign versions that might prove appealing alternate namesakes for Gran Jan—Gianetta, Zaneta, Janneth, Sinead or Janica.

# 951 in the US

Janet Rank in US Top 1000

# 973 on Nameberry

Janet Rank in Nameberry Top 1000

Janet Popularity

Famous People Named Janet

  • Janet Damita Jo JacksonAmerican pop singer
  • Janet Leigh (born Jeanette Helen Morrison)American actress
  • Laura Augusta "Janet" GaynorAmerican actress
  • Janet Wood Renoformer U.S. attorney general
  • Janet Ann Napolitanoformer U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security and Arizona governor
  • Janet McTeerEnglish actress
  • Janet Beth EvansAmerican Olympic swimmer
  • Janet Norton Lee Bouviermother of U.S. First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
  • Janet EvanovichAmerican novelist
  • Janet Susan Mary "Viva" HoffmanAmerican actress
  • Janet E. A. HenfreyEnglish actress
  • Janet MaslinAmerican journalist and movie critic
  • Janet LeeTaiwanese,American tennis player
  • Janet Vera (Ardern/Bull) StreetPorter, English media personality
  • Jeanette Marie "Janet" WaldoAmerican actress
  • Janet Carol Wolfenbargerhighest,ranking woman in the U.S. Air Force
  • Janet WrightCanadian actress and director
  • Janet Louise YellenAmerican economist and Federal Reserve Chair
  • Janet Meakin PoorAmerican landscape designer
  • Janet Elizabeth Lennonsinger with American girl group The Lennon Sisters
  • Janet LynnAmerican Olympic figure skater
  • Janet Rosenberg Jagan6th President of Guyana
  • Janet CarrAustralian TV producer
  • Janet Michelle EllisEnglish TV presenter and actress
  • Janet Fielding (born Janet Claire Mahoney)English actress
  • Janet Steeper Burklegreat,grandniece of the Wright brothers and wife of billionaire Ron Burkle
  • Janet Kay (born Janet Bogle)English singer and actress
  • Janet SuzmanSouth African actress
  • Janet AndrewarthaAustralian actress

Janet in Pop Culture

  • Janet Scotta police officer and titular character in the British drama "Scott & Bailey", played by Lesley Sharp
  • Janet Weisscharacter in "The Rocky Horror Picture Show"
  • Janet van Dynethe Wasp in the Marvel Comics
  • Interplanet Janetcharacter on TV's "Schoolhouse Rock"
  • Janet Woodcharacter on TV's "Three's Company"
  • Janet and Johnmain characters in British postwar primary school reading textbooks
  • Janetcharacter in The Magic School Bus series
  • Janet Kimmain character on TV's "Kim's Convenience"
  • Janet "Jay" Kylecharacter on TV's "My Wife and Kids"
  • Janet Leachcharacter in the movie "Appropriate Adult"
  • Janet "Butterfly" Taylorcharacter in the Orphans series by V.C. Andrews
  • Janet Armstrongcharacter in G. A. Henty's, Both Sides the Border
  • Janet Robinscharacter in the "St. Clare" book series by Enid Blyton
  • Janet Smythecharacter on TV's "Best Friends Whenever"
  • Janet van de Graaffcharacter in musical "The Drowsy Chaperone"
  • "Janet King" Australian TV drama and its main character
  • "Janet's Big Dance Number" song by Frank Zappa
  • Janetcharacter in American sitcom "The Good Place"
  • Janet (Jenny) Flora Arabella Murray née Frasercharacter in Outlander